Recently, a few scientists have started to explore whether we might be able to do a little better if we created new types of humans more fit for the travails of space travel.
His lab participates in NASA’s Twins Study, which is tracking physiological changes to an astronaut who was sent to the International Space Station for a year while his twin brother stayed on Earth.
Space is full of rays and fast-moving particles that damage DNA. So he’s working on radiation-proofing human cells.
In 2015 we published an article, “Engineering the Perfect Baby,” about the fact that gene editing, especially with a technology called CRISPR, had suddenly made it possible to easily change the genes in a human embryo.
The fitness of a human in space or on Mars is extremely low. Just picture an astronaut encased in a space suit with the right amount of oxygen, the right amount of nitrogen, and the right temperature.
Any human able to do so would hardly be human, he admits.